Nirvana

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Nirvana

Andrzej Jaworski
Hi,

I guess most of you have already watched this laughing contest:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/c/d/2/cd213f37-2a1d-4b79-80a6-fc82978bf69b/Meijer_Peyton-Jone
s_Language_MSRCam2007.wmv

It offers first hand information that the usefulness of Haskell as programming language amounts
exactly to 0. This is a big surprise for me. On the contrary, I think Haskell has been getting too
expressive at the expense of fundamental issues left neglected like relatively weak module system.

But here up comes another surprise - this complex fancy but pragmatic sugar developed to support
human reasoning was selected to manage alien low level environment.

Yet another shock comes form worshiping C, C#, Java as perpetually useful. So, it seems Okasaki
wrote for an alternative world.

This is becoming incomprehensible for me and I shall retreat to mathematics. But perhaps my
impressions could stir up some useful discussion here, as I have great sympathy for you guys:-)

Best regards,

-Andrzej

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Re: Nirvana

Taral
On 7/27/07, Andrzej Jaworski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> It offers first hand information that the usefulness of Haskell as programming language amounts
> exactly to 0. This is a big surprise for me. On the contrary, I think Haskell has been getting too
> expressive at the expense of fundamental issues left neglected like relatively weak module system.

I think you very much misunderstood what was being said. What Simon
appears to say (in my opinion, admittedly) is that Haskell pre-IO was
not useful. By adding selective unsafeness (IO, unsafe* functions),
Haskell is made into a significantly more useful programming language.

--
Taral <[hidden email]>
"Please let me know if there's any further trouble I can give you."
    -- Unknown
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Re: Nirvana

Sebastian Sylvan
On 27/07/07, Taral <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On 7/27/07, Andrzej Jaworski <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > It offers first hand information that the usefulness of Haskell as programming language amounts
> > exactly to 0. This is a big surprise for me. On the contrary, I think Haskell has been getting too
> > expressive at the expense of fundamental issues left neglected like relatively weak module system.
>
> I think you very much misunderstood what was being said. What Simon
> appears to say (in my opinion, admittedly) is that Haskell pre-IO was
> not useful. By adding selective unsafeness (IO, unsafe* functions),
> Haskell is made into a significantly more useful programming language.

Exactly. As I understand it, he's saying that the C style of languages
and Haskell are trying to approach the same goal from two different,
somewhat orthogonal, directions. Haskell by starting pure and doing
what they can to make it pragmatic without destroying any nice
properties. The imperative languages are doing it by starting
unsafe/unproductive and "useful" and trying to make it less
unsafe/unproductive (often by borrowing from languages like Haskell,
but general non-FP-specific features like garbage collection certainly
comes to mind)...

So I think he's saying that Haskell, with monads for IO, ST, STM, and
concurrency, and FFI etc. *is* very useful and securely located in the
realm of practical feasibility for most projects, but that it arrived
at this position from a different starting point.


--
Sebastian Sylvan
+44(0)7857-300802
UIN: 44640862
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